I might have to check out of the news for a while, given my expectation that Donald Trump will announce his own Trump the Bounty Hunter effort to recapture “El Chapo” Guzman, the likelihood that the Harper Lee publication story will grow more sordid and the inevitable media frenzy ensuing from The New Yorker report that much of the Pacific Northwest could soon be underwater “toast.”
This is more news than I can take. With the onset of El Niño, it’s already been a rough couple of weeks.
You see, my house turns into a Shakespearean venue on rainy season nights. There are no curtains and the electrical flashes illuminate entire rooms. The thunder booms like Stanley Kubrick is in charge of the kettle drums. Cooper, an animal shelter refugee whose life as stray probably began in similar circumstances, pants and paces and hides in whatever dark corner he can find. I stare at the skull in my aging hand, wondering where all the gambols, songs and “flashes of merriment” have gone.
On an even grimmer note, I grapple in my head with the opening lines of a coming-of-age short story I’m calling “Acequia Madre,” but have begun to realize the thing might be just too pretentious to write.
I feel sorry for my partner Cooper. But his misery reminds me that I was even sorrier for a girlfriend and her daughter on a rainy season night years ago, gamely but damply sitting through a chilly deluge at the open-air Santa Fe opera house, plastic ponchos and bulky wool socks — retrieved from the truck at intermission — covering summery print dresses and delicately sandaled feet. Mother or daughter might also have been wearing boot socks over her hands.
Opera provided two of the brighter notes in news in the last couple of weeks: The New Mexican reported that the Santa Fe Opera has added more bathrooms; and friend Larry Calloway relayed that a fellow named Derrick Wang had the smarts to write an opera about the friendship of Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
But I am afraid it is not enough.
I am fearful of a TV special featuring a bellicose billionaire presidential candidate swapping his tie for a gold chain and going mano y mano with a short but exceedingly murderous drug lord. The Pacific Northwest is home to friends and family members. And I just don’t know what to think about Harper Lee and Atticus Finch.
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